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Apr. 28th, 2008

Death of a Salesman Cause and Effect

● No one goes to Willy's funeral because he drove everyone important away from him
● Willy kills himself because he is worth more dead than he is alive and he wants to give something great to his family
● Willy can't make a livelihood because he is delusional and has mixed up values on life, something that is made painfully clear to everyone when Biff tries to break away from his father and become his own man, this will will be the final nail in Willy's coffin
● Biff tells his father the truth because no one has been honest in the family for a while and he wanted to finally get everything off his chest and have a clean start. Biff wants to be loved for what he is and not who his father keeps insisting he could be.
● Biff gets up the gumption to tell his father a dinner off because he sees that his father is miserable living in his dream world so there is no reason to protect Willy from the truth
● Biff sees this when he comes home from his “night out” with Happy to face a furious mother and Willy who is gardening
● Biff goes off with Happy after Willy gets to upset and starts having flashbacks in the bathroom
● Willy is having flashbacks in the bathroom because Biff was trying to tell him the truth and Happy was running interference. They two stories upset him and set him off into his own world
● Happy and Biff go and meet Willy at dinner to “celebrate” Biff's new job
● Biff doesn't get the job because he steals a pen and runs out. He realizes he needs a clean break from Willy and his “destiny”
● Biff is looking for a job because he's just come into town and he needs work
● Biff has come into town because he has nowhere else to go

Mar. 28th, 2008

Monolog Exerscise

For the last time, our marriage is nothing like “Taxi”. You are not like the woman in that song. That woman had the balls to leave the man she loved and hunt her dream with everything she had and you clung to the first stable thing you could find. That woman might have lost hard but she gambled big when have you ever taken a gamble in you whole life? What have you done that isn't completely calculated, planned, and stacked in your favor? If you had ever been serious about acting you would be out at all the extra and little part auditions you could find. We're twenty minutes out of LA and you've never been able to even be an extra! And you come home and you smile and you dance parading around over one audition. Am I supposed to dance around with you? Am I supposed to drop my dreams, my life, my career to support this wisp of hope? I arranged that audition for you as a gift and instead of being satisfied you keep asking for more. 'Don't run in the next election darling, I'll need support for my blossoming career,' you say. Has it ever occurred to you that as mayor, I've used my pull to keep you the lead in the play house?! Have you ever wondered why out of all the women at the auditions there you're chosen. Let me tell you it isn't because you look the part or even just look well in general sweetheart.
These are all the things I do for you. And all I ask in return is that you stand next to me during my campaign and smile. Is that so fucking much? Can it really be too hard for you to manage? Are you really so self centered that you would destroy your best chances at becoming a star just so you can appear to have a trophy husband?
No, here's what's going to happen. You're going to smile and prance around about your audition. You'll go and you'll get the part. Maybe you'll actually get another gig or two on your own from this one for once. But then you'll come home to me. You'll smile your Hollywood smile on my campaign platform and I'll take the race.

Oct. 28th, 2007

MAster Harold and the Boys Cause and Effect

“Master Harold and the Boys” Plot Break Down End to Beginning

● Willie is trying to cheer Sam up because Hally has left and probably ended their friendship
● Hally has left angry because his father is home but more importantly because Sam has said the truth about bringing Hally's father home and making him a kite
● Same has spoken the truth about Hally's father because Hally spit on Willie and made fun of him
● Hally makes fun of Willie to try and push Sam away from him
● Hally wants to push Sam away because he tries to confront him about the return of his father and the shame he feels towards the man
● Sam tries to confront Hally's shame because Hally is making fun of his father and giving up on a dream world of equality they created
● Hally is acting out because he's just gotten a call from his mother saying that his father is home and that he needs to return to the house with the booze locked up as soon as possible
● Before Hally and Sam are dreaming of dancing and equality which Hally predicts will have to be ruined by something
● they are talking about dancing together because Sam has been using the metaphor to explain all sorts of problems in the world as “bumping into each other”, and he feels that “dancing like a champion” will help
● Sam uses this metaphor because they are all talking about a dance competition before
● They are talking about dance competitions because Hally is thinking about using Sam's dance competition as a “cultural event” for his paper
● they are talking about using the dance as a cultural event because Sam has been talking about how he fines dance a beautiful art
● Hally tried to convince Sam that dance is just a sport, but he seemed to convince himself that it might be an art instead
● they are arguing about dance being art because Hally wants them to stop talking about it
● Hally hit Willie with a ruler because Same and Willie were starting to rough house in the store
● Willie went after Sam because he is poking fun of Willie's lack of girl
● Willie doesn't have a girl to dance with because he beats his main squeeze
● When Sam finds out that Willie has been hitting her she wants him to apologize or withdraw
● Willie and Sam are talking about dancing because Hally has left the two to try to do homework
● Hally sends the other two away while he does his homework because Sam is being too smart with him about how easy the assignment should be and Hally doesn't think so
● Sam and Hally are talking about his homework because Hally doesn't want to talk about his Dad anymore
● Hally doesn't want to talk about his Dad anymore because discussing him in crutches hobbling around the home or following either him or his mother around makes him ashamed and because he just doesn't want to speak poorly of his dad
● Hally started speaking poorly of his dad because the doctors have said that he can come home earlier than he thought and Hally doesn't really want him to go home
● before the phone call Sam and Hally were chatting about different fun times the two had in Sam's room
● they are talking bout Sam's room and old times because Sam won't tell Hally why he made the kite for him
● Sam won't tell Hally why he made the kite because all of Hally's story about his drunk dad are lie and Sam doesn't want to crush the illusion
● Hally is talking about the kite because he is telling Sam that it is one of his fondest memories
● they are talking about all these memories and good times because Hally and Sam are creating a little screen play from their lives
● They are talking about a screen play just as something to do with their memories and time
● They are talking about old times because Sam and Hally are talking about how Hally passed exams by trying to out learn Sam
● They are talking about Hally's schooling because he isn't doing well
● Hally is talking about his schooling because he is poking fun at Sam for not understanding Charles Darwin
● all the talk about schooling comes up as a method to distract Hally from the possibility that his father might be released from the hospital
● the talk about the hospital breaks out because of a message Hally's mom left with Sam
● Sam and Willie are fighting before this because Sam is making fun of Willie's lack of partner for the dance competition

How I learned to Drive Essay

How I Learned to Drive

One of the more interesting things in How I Learned to Drive is how Paula Vogel takes an unsympathetic character like a child molester and turns him into a character with feelings and thoughts. Uncle Peck is more than just a simple good or bad guy in How I Learned to Drive while one can agrue that we see these sides because the victim is telling the story, it still does not explain how this kind of development came about. Careful tracking through the play though helps to reveal little pieces of who Peck is in an order that make our sympathy grow for him until we see the end scene.
One aspect of Uncle Peck's attract is that he can be kind to Little Bit. Sometimes he looks out for her, stands up for her, and in some perverse ways attempts to give her confidence. This is more than we see anyone else in the play do. Little Bit's mother attempts to give her sex advice, but really it's about the mother continually confronting the Grandmother about how she didn't help her enough in that department. When Little Bit most needs her mother's help and protection from Uncle Peck, Mom turns her back on Little Bit, using the same words her Grandparents used on her “I hold you responsible” (913).
Little Bit's Grandfather is a mean old pervert who endlessly insults Little Bit's body. While Grandma scares her with stories about how much sex will hurt and how “a girl with her skirt up can outrun a man with his pants down” (902). The viewers don't know much about Little Bit's Aunt until her dialog where we learn that she knows Uncle Peck is molesting her niece. Instead of protecting her, she blames Little Bit and wants her husband back from her. Even other strangers in the play always seem to be harassing Little Bit by calling her names, grabbing her breast, or otherwise sexually degrading her. It becomes clear through all these scenes that even though Peck is the worst offender, he's also the only one who treats her somewhat kindly when he isn't fondling her. Peck is also the only one who gives her any “choice” in the matter.
Peck isn't perfect though. The first scene opens to reveal a man and a young woman in a car involved in something nefarious. In the beginning I didn't think very well of the male and I noted that the woman was nervous and didn't seem to want to be there. Still, I reminded myself that the was seventeen and probably getting some kind of compensation if she was out here with this man. I wasn't completely disgusted and outraged with just Uncle Peck until I realized that he was the Uncle of Little Bit. Even though these first moment impressions are brief, Vogel is already leaving an opening for people to give a kinder interpretation of Peck. She hangs out the idea of choice by excluding choice information, and later in the play this scene and the idea of choice will repeatedly reoccur. Depending on the scene we may or may not come to be more sympathetic for Peck.
The second and third scene seem to be dedicated to showing us that Peck can be a good person. In the second he tries to stop the family from teasing Little Bit. They are picking on her breast that he moments ago was pawing up and praising. When she runs out of the house, Peck is the man who talks to here and convinces her to come back in. It seems to me that in that scene Peck took on the role of a mother. In some ways it highlights how disgusting and convoluted their relationship is but in other ways it shows that Peck on some level may care about Little Bit's feelings.
The third scene is a celebration dinner taking place between Peck and Little Bit because she has had her first successful cross country trip. Here we view a lot of conflicting information. He really has thought about where to take Little Bit that she might like. He knows that she is interested in history and places with stories and he knows what to recommend for her to eat that she would enjoy. On the other hand he seems to be getting her drunk. It is hard for the reader to tell Peck's intentions when he gets her drunk. At first we assume Little Bit is getting drunk so Peck can take advantage of her, but he doesn't do that. He insists that nothing will happen if it isn't Little Bit's choice. This is really an odd scene because at this point we've decided that Peck is a molester and can not be a good character. Peck has gotten Little Bit drunk and nothing good can come from that. Still, at the same time, Peck has tried to defend her against taunting. Peck has shown thought and concern towards her likes and dislikes, and even though Peck got her drunk he didn't take advantage of her.
This scene where Peck doesn't abuse Little Bit is starkly contrasted with a monologue where Peck seems to make it clear that he molested Little Bit's cousin. This scene chills readers. It makes us wonder how many children have fallen prey to Peck so far. How many more will? Is all his kindness and thoughtfulness an act? Vogel seems to be intentionally making it hard for us to have strong feelings for Peck one way or the other. He is definitely a child molester and he is taking advantage of children, but is he really any worse than everyone else surrounding them?
Another monologue that is very telling about Peck is Aunt Mary. She obviously lovers her husband. She shows him to be a kind and gentle man who sits with her, listens to her, and helps do the housework. Part of my mind wonders if Aunt Mary is telling the truth, but another part feels bad that she does seem to really feel like she's lost a strong presence in her life. We have seen that Uncle Peck does seem to think about the women around him. He does do the dishes for everyone after Thanksgiving dinner. He does agree to stop drinking because Little Bit doesn't like when he does. That he makes this agreement and sticks to it seems to imply that Peck cares about the people around him and he wants them to be comfortable.
Another interesting aspect of Mary's speech is that she mentions that Peck has done this before. Again Little Bit isn't the first, but everything changes after her. Peck's marriage falls apart and he literally falls apart as a person. He drinks himself to death. It is hard to decide if the drinking or if Little Bit's refusal is what ruins Peck's marriage. One could say that Little Bit's refusal allowed for the drink, but it is hard to decide whether or not he is falling back into addiction or he is drinking just to forget. What is interesting though is in Mary's speech she insists that she has a lot of patience and that she will wait for her husband to come back to her, and then she divorces him. She should have been through this before, since Little Bit is not the first, but somehow it seems she is different. Is all the stress and kindness Peck gave her new and different. Are the feelings Peck claims to have for Bit actually genuine? Does that really matter if he's still abusing and hurting Little Bit?
Perhaps the biggest turn is when we see Peck pining for Bit and Bit being almost cruel to Peck. Peck has showered her with gifts and notes and Little Bit doesn't respond. She avoids him whenever she can. When Bit finally meets him, it is to reject his advances. She goes from being reluctantly uncomfortable with his advances to being creeped out and hostile towards them. It is like those months away finally cleared her head and made her realize what was going on was very wrong.
The other side of this is that Peck becomes the weak and pleading side of their relationship. In some ways the viewer feels like Little Bit should have more consideration for Peck's feelings. He is completely exposed in his “love” for Little Bit and she shoots him down. It made me wonder the age difference between him and Mary. It made me wonder if Peck would do the same to Little Bit later if they got married. Mostly though it made me feel a little bad for Peck. I wondered if he wasn't at least somewhat of a victim too.
That's why the closing scene where we see Peck's first abuse of Little Bit is such a shock. It reminds us that he is a sick man. He terrified a girl who trusted him. Little Bit loved Uncle Peck and she defended him against her mother's accusations. She stood by him when others would not, and Peck took advantage of that young girl's trust and innocence. He hurt Little Bit in a way that she will feel for a long time to come.
Peck's character is complex and hard for the viewer to get any definitive feelings on. One would like to hate him and just dismiss him as evil, but Vogel won't allow for this. She shows us humanity and hurt and possibly some goodness in him. Then we would like to consider him more kindly, but again Vogel doesn't allow this, we see Peck abusing Bit, Bit's cousin, and it is implied that there were others. She takes a monster and makes him a man only to shift him back into the form of a monster.

Sep. 25th, 2007

Attempt at a Monolouge

So yeah I wrote this monolouge as an assignment, but I won't be using it at all in my work later. It's still an interesting piece though, who knows maybe later it will be worth something.

Sep. 24th, 2007

ug I'm so tired

Hello ij this is me reporting and almost 11. I'm exhausted. Didn't try to sleep till 12:3o and then I toss and turned and tossed and turned. Don't think I slept almost at all. Add to that that I have my friend in seven days and somehow complete and utter exhuastion doesn't even begin to describe it. I don't get it either, I've had a pretty good iron intake (anemic need more of it more often) and I still feel pretty shitty. I know I've been keeping odd hours and I know I've probably spent too much time paling around and not enough sleeping, but man I felt like never moving from the bed again this morning.

Then playwriting, the class I love so much seemed like such a chore. On the flip side I think I might have something for my one act. I think I might do a terrorist spoof. I don't know picture them rounding up Suburbia's housewives and putting them on lock down in a white picket fence yard surrounded by barbed wire with you know the token "actually working for the authorities" "woman" (I quote woman because its going to be a dude with a beard dressed in a skirt) trying to figure out which women are part of the terrorist group and which are not. The "terrorist act" is going to be (audience comes to find this out later) that someone destroyed the town's prized garden because the "Gardening Pigs" didn't use all organic products and they cheated by using genetically engineers seeds. I don't know maybe it will just be a dog that got loose in the flower garden at the end..has lots of funny spoof like potential though. I'll have to think on it more later though cause I have tons more class to do now.

Bye y'all.

Sep. 23rd, 2007

Conversation I Easdropped on

Assignment for Playwriting to easedrop on a conversation...these are my results.

Sep. 21st, 2007

Writng Prompt in playwriting

Sep. 16th, 2007

My Character workshopping's results

These prompts will also appear in the </a></strong></a>[info]writers_cafe but my actual responses are only on this journal.  Added in after the cut.  

Alright here is my Oedipus paper

Apr. 28th, 2007

Rasin in the Sun Character Development

One thing that Raisin in the Sun does really well with is building tension within the play to keep the viewer interested in what's going on. There are two main ways tension is built.
One way the play manages this is through maintaining one point all the characters world's revolve around. For Raisin in the Sun the key element is money. Every character, though their drives, desires, and personalities are drastically different find the need for money to be a key motivational tool. That they are all fighting over what to do with a limited amount of money in a time sensitive venture, brings the tension up to full volume. Right away we are thrown into a family situation that is on the edge of having a complete break down.
The second key element in maintaining tension in Raisin in the Sun is having a diverse amount of subplots. Everything might boil down to when the family is getting the money, what the family will do with the money, and what happens when the money is lost, but the distinct feeling of rising need also comes from having several characters with several different motifs running through. From the very beginning of the play it is established that the viewer is seeing a family with tight resources that is about to get a lot of money, but they are also seeing several individuals who all have separate dramas and trials that require vastly different things to get what they want. Each of these characters seems to be at the end of the rope and most of them need not only a chunk of the money Mama is getting but they also need the understanding and acceptance of the rest of the family.
In the beginning of the play, Ruth is exhausted and pinching pennies everywhere she can with the very distant dream that she might one day get to move out of their current home. She is always working at home or out doing the same for other families. She does all this work in the hopes of creating a happy and healthy family. A large part of what hinders Ruth's dreams are the family's lack of funds, but an even greater part of what hinders Ruth is Walter. Ruth can't be happy until Walter settles. She can't understand why he can't just go to work and come home like she does. Ruth sees Walter's friends as loudmouth trouble makers, and Walter's dreams might as well be unicorns to Ruth. She understands his need to have better, but where Ruth is motivated to do better in her relationship with Walter and quality of life at home, Walter wants to do better economically and socially. He wants a better job that can offer his family better things. Really both wants are often close at each other's heels but neither can have the other without the money coming in the mail and without the other's support.
The conflict between Ruth and Walter could be a play all on its own, but there are other people with other connections who also come into play. Benetha also lives with Ruth and Walter, and like them she has some stake in the money that is coming tomorrow. Benetha, much like Walter, wants to better her standing in the world. Unlike Walter she realizes that to move up in the world, she's going to need to know the rules to play and win. Another difference between Walter and Benetha is that Benetha is looking to find herself. Instead of shunning what she feels should be her “blackness” and wanting just to become even with the white people, Benetha wants to reclaim the good things about being black. She wants the African culture and she wants to be a doctor. These differences, rather than Walter and Benetha's similarities are what meet and clash most often between the two. Walter in some ways resents Benetha's school and Benetha looks down on her brother's ideas of escape.
Another part of what Benetha must fight against is how little she can communicate her needs to her family. Part of this is the family's lack of education, but part of this is Benetha allowing herself to get to be pretentious. Benetha sometimes gets carried away in ideas too much to see the reality in front of her. This makes her come off as both pretentious and condescending to Ruth and Mama. Benetha is still looking for the line and there are very few people at home who can help her gauge how far is too far.
To add one more stress to the apartment, Mama lives with them in their rented space where she rules as matriarch. Mama's power over the family keep Walter from taking what he feels is his place as the head of the household and create an immediate conflict. Mama's tendency to align with Ruth as they are both family oriented only make a larger wedge in Ruth and Walter's relationship. Often Mama's alignment to Ruth creates more instead of less work for Ruth because she is the one who has to deal most with both Walter and Benetha's negative reactions. Mama's true aim is to make her children happy and give them a future. Unfortunately she is often so locked into the old way and the old problems she has trouble seeing how her children in front of her struggle with new problems her generation would dream of having the right to fuss over.
The money itself can't actually solve any of these problems, though each character makes the mistake of believing it could. Even after the money is divided and everyone has a bit of what they want, there isn't a lull in the tension until we see that Mama has made efforts to understand what Benetha is looking for in a man and Walter has taken steps to repair his marriage with Ruth. The money made these corrections possible, but the people themselves is what relieves the tension.
The end of Act Two keys the tension up again by making all the money gone. The family's doubts and disapproval of Walter are thrown back onto him. His leadership is undermined by his own poor judgment. Benetha's college efforts are in jeopardy, and the house that Ruth and Mama have waited so long for might have to be sold.
That Act Three ends with the family moving into their new home without any money and with some semblance of unity shows that while money may have been the catalyst what the viewer is waiting for is the end to the individual dramas and not the end to the money.